Processing

Download the most up-to-date pricing and order from here:

Pricing & Order Form

Our goal is to produce the very best roving or yarn with your fleece. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to email us at hello@junctionfibermill.com.

We are now accepting orders for yarn, roving, and pin-drafted roving processing jobs. We’ll accept orders via email on a first come first served basis. To order, download the Pricing & Order form (above), fill it out, and email it to us along with any questions and we’ll schedule a time for you to drop off your wool.

We request that all incoming wool be personally delivered to the mill. We believe this is the best way to ensure we understand what you want from your fleeces. Plus, we’d really like to meet you!

Fleeces should be skirted and delivered in plastic bags, loosely tied and labeled with your name, the job name and breed, as well as phone number and email. Check out our video on skirting your fleece here.

When your order is ready, we’ll contact you and provide an invoice. Payment is due at pickup. We accept checks or credit card. Please note that we charge a credit card transaction fee of 3.5%.

Minimums

Minimum job weights are listed on our Pricing & Order Form. We can accommodate smaller jobs, but they will be charged the minimum weight per process. A job is defined as a single fleece or batch of fleece that is processed together. An order can have multiple jobs as specified on the Pricing & Order From (download above).

Fiber Requirements

We accept sheep’s wool with a staple length between two and seven inches. We cannot accept fleece from farms that use wood shavings as bedding as the shavings stick to the fleece and can damage our equipment. Additionally we cannot process hair or dual coated breeds of sheep. We reserve the right to reject any fleece for any reason. For more info check out our FAQ page here.

Our equipment requires that a job have some crimp for us to process it successfully. Breeds with high crimp like Jacob, Corriedale, Shetland, etc go through swimmingly on their own.

Lower crimp breeds like Border Leicester and Finn can occasionally be a challenge. Not all fleeces are consistent within a given breed, so it often comes down to the specific sheep. The solution we have found in these cases is to blend a small amount of wool with the necessary crimp to hold it together. We can assess your specific fleece when we see it in person.

For very low or no crimp breeds such as Gotland, Cotswold, and Teeswater we blend as a rule as they cannot go through on their own.

If you have a mix of different breeds of sheep, we recommend blending some of the crimpy breeds with the low crimp breeds to increase the chance of success. If not, we can provide a high quality domestic combed top at cost.

Don't hesitate to email us at hello@junctionfibermill.com if you have any other questions.

Our Process

The process starts and ends with us, Peggy and Amanda. In addition to running the mill, we are also sheep farmers and care deeply about ensuring your hard work is rewarded with the finest finished product.

Washing

(Also known as scouring)

We wash your fleece in small batches in our specially-designed sinks which provide super hot water. We use a biodegradable detergent to remove the lanolin and dirt and then rinse until it’s thoroughly clean. This ensures the fiber runs smoothly through our equipment. Then we spin out the excess water and rack dry it. We do not accept pre-washed fleece and we do not offer standalone scouring services.

Picking

The picker opens up the locks of the cleaned fleece and beats out loose vegetation. The fiber gently comes off of this machine like puffs of wool cloud into big laundry baskets. This is the stage where we blend wools to create a consistent mix.

Carding

The wool is placed on a conveyor belt and pulled through a series of toothed rollers that work to align the fiber, and comes off the other end as coiled roving. Depending on your wool, the carded roving might be fine enough for handspinning, but if you want ultra consistent and fine roving, opt for the additional step of pin drafting.

Some fibers require a “light feed” which means we need to load up the carder belt with a fraction of the fiber it can typically hold. This tends to happen for fine silky fibers without much crimp. Because they take extra time and care to process, we have to charge extra as shown on the Pricing & Order Form (above). We can assess whether we’ll need to do this when you drop off your fiber.

Pin Drafting

The carded roving is weighed and divided evenly into 4-8 stacks. The strands are then fed together through the pin drafter which pulls them through a series of combs, drafting and further aligning the fibers together. The result is much more uniform coiled roving. This makes fantastic roving for handspinning. For yarn orders, we repeat the whole process once more. Each successive pass through the pin drafter results in a more uniform roving which in turn makes for consistent yarn.

Spinning

Our spinner creates beautiful consistent semi-worsted yarn using precise computer-driven settings based on your unique fiber and specifications. We feed the pin-drafted roving into the spinner which drafts and twists the fiber to our exact specifications before winding it onto a bobbin as a “single”. We then take two or more singles and run them through the spinner together twisting in the opposite direction to make plied yarn.

We offer spinning in two price categories based on finished yards per skein: medium and light. The lighter weight the yarn, the more yards per skein. Because every fiber is so different (amount of crimp, thickness of fiber, etc) one fiber’s worsted weight might be in the “light” category while another is “medium”. We’re happy to work with you to figure out what weight yarn will work best for your fiber and suit your budget.

Finishing

To remove the yarn from the bobbins, we use our skein winder which takes off a specified length of yarn to make 4oz or 2oz skeins. Then we rinse your skeins to fluff up the fibers and set the twist. We rack dry them and twist them into hanks which are ready to hit the racks of your local knitting store.

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